Alaska City Sightseeing Tours
You have just landed in Alaska, you are a little jet-lagged from your flight, but you are also too excited to explore the area to simply retire to the hotel. City tours are a great first-day option because they are a way to acquaint guests with the area and scope out things to do on later days. City tours normally come in two categories: bus/trolley or walking. Other tours delve into specifics such as food and drink, pub crawls, and ghost tours.
City Sightseeing Tours
Custom Private Tours
Explore Anchorage’s best kept secrets with a local guide. Traverse Alaska’s private, custom adventures are designed to take visitors off the beaten path and away from the crowds. Adventures can incorporate a full day of hiking or a combination of scenic driving and outdoor activities. Each trip is custom designed to meet your interests and desired activity level.
See Alaska’s unique and authentic side by hiring a guide for a day and creating a custom, private adventure for yourself and up to 7 others. Tours depart from Anchorage or Girdwood. Excursions include Matanuska glacier hikes, ATV tours, gold panning, northern lights viewing, snowmobiling, and more.
Photography, Art & Hands-On Tours
These tours out of Haines offer an up-close nature experience with insights from knowledgeable local guides. There are two options. The first tour is a wildlife tour that focuses on finding and learning about wildlife. The second one is a photography tour where you take pictures to share back at home, and get the chance to enhance your photography skills — just when you can benefit from it most.
Photograph alpenglow on snow capped mountains, frosty scenes glowing in rich winter light, wildlife wandering snowy paths, city lights reflecting on the water at twilight, and possibly even the northern lights!
The 7- to 9‑hour tour out of Anchorage’s Lake Hood is led by a photographer-pilot whom has published photos in such magazines as Air and Space, Stearns and National Geographic. Set up for the best shots, every passenger gets a window seat and a two-way headset for pilot narration — you’ll have a stunning ride filled with photo ops of rugged mountains, glacial pools and ice blue glaciers. Then, you’ll land on a remote waterway to take photos on the ...more
Join Alaska Photo Treks as they go hunting for the best light of the day, which during summer at this latitude can last for several glorious hours before sunset. You’ll be transported to scenic locations around Southcentral Alaska to shoot a variety of enchanting subjects. The itinerary is flexible and allows for spontaneous stops to photograph wildlife en route.
Every now and then in Alaska — where the weather can change quickly — a great indoor activity comes in handy. But this unique year-round attraction, where a family or a group of friends solves a mystery while “locked” indoors, makes a fun diversion even when the skies are clear outside.
Tucked inside the lush Tongass National Forest, discover an Alaskan botanical garden unlike anywhere else in the world. A 2012 Reader’s Digest poll chose Glacier Gardens out of thousands of entries as the Most Interesting Landmark in America! Vibrant hanging gardens spill from 15-foot-tall upside down tree “Flower Towers” and elegantly designed landscapes compliment the natural beauty of the rainforest. Explore these unique gardens on a guided ...more
Step into the underworld of Anchorage — a hidden gathering of ghosts and spirits — on this walking tour through some of the city’s most haunted sites. It’s the most unsual perspective you can get of Alaska’s largest metropolis.
Bicycle, Scooter & Segway Tours
Take a spin through Juneau on a fun bike tour. It’s a great way to explore Alaska’s capital city, with lots of scenery and history along the way. Choose from one of several options. There’s a bike and brew tour, which includes seeing the Mendenhall Glacier as well as a tasting of Alaskan beers. Or ride your bike out to Douglas Island for a tram ride, 1,800 feet up Mt. Roberts for some spectacular views. Or custom design your own great bike trip ...more
Anchorage may be Alaska’s big city, but this bicycle tour operator offers quick proof that the city has a lot of wilderness. Choose your ride based on half-day or full-day options, as well as difficulty. You’ll go from downtown to Mother Nature — with mountains, coastal views, and the occasional moose sighting — in no time at all. Better yet, the tours often include beer tastings or lunch.
Some people love the view of Alaska from the side of a ship, or from above in a bush plane. But this cycle shop and tour operator based in Haines and Skagway proves that there’s nothing quite like the view of Alaska from atop two wheels, as you glide through the gorgeously unique scenery. Its day trips are a fabulous way for independent travelers and cruise passengers to take a detour on their voyage, enjoying a different pace and perspective on ...more
Food & Beer Tours
Sample delicious syrup and sweets made from birch trees at Kahiltna Birchworks in Talkeetna — the world’s largest producer of birch syrup. Stop in to shop, or for a tour of the facility at mile 1.1 of the Talkeetna Spur Rd, just off the Parks Highway. You’ll also find Alaskan food products (many wild harvested), botanicals, and functional art like pottery, tiles, birch bark and wood crafts. Products are also available online.
If you’re a beer snob — or just like soaking up the personality of a city through its brewpubs — this creative tour company offers a few different tours, each of which provide an interesting look at life in Alaska, as well as through a taste of the state’s legit craft beer industry. The Anchorage Brews Tour, is a short, 3.5 hour local brewery tour. Hops on the Rail tour combines breweries between Anchorage and Talkeetna with a ride on The Alaska ...more
Ursa Major was one of the first distilleries in Alaska and the first legal distillery in Fairbanks. Today they’re dedicated to the fine craft of small-batch spirits, and you can enjoy their akavit, rum, vodka, gin, canned cocktails, and seasonal releases of whiskey. Visit the tasting room, join a tour, or take a mixology class!
Tour working farms in Palmer, Anchorage, and Talkeetna. You’ll take guided walks around the farms, touching plants, breathing in the air and sometimes even tasting something freshly picked. But there is also a lot of storytelling, learning about the unique challenges that Alaska farmers face. Some tours offer option to sample other local products like Alaska beer and birch syrup.
Sample a variety of Alaskan activities year-round through this organization that’s all about showcasing the community of Two Rivers. The signature Taste of Two Rivers Tour includes a dog sled demonstration, gold panning, and an opportunity to meet & pet reindeer. Other summer tours include hikes with reindeer and visiting a peony farm. In winter, go dog sledding (day or multi-day expedition) and view the northern lights.
At the 200-acre Alaska Wildlife Conservation Center, see Alaskan wildlife up close. The center’s mission is to provide refuge for orphaned, injured, and ill animals — those that can’t survive in the wild. The center, which opened to the public in 1993, educates visitors about Alaska’s wildlife. Coyotes peer out from behind the brush while a bald eagle swoops in on the salmon remains left by a grizzly bear. Wood Bison plod through 65 acres of tidal ...more
You may think of reindeer as flying creatures of the imagination, but here in Alaska they’re very real. And this unique tour gives you the opportunity to get up close and personal with these magnificent animals. Walk among them and pet them — it’s truly a moment made for Instagram.
Bus, Trolley & Train Tours
Midnight Sun Excursions will reopen in 2022. Skagway may be a quaint small town, but it offers a big lens into the Alaska frontier. This tour operator — run by a certified Naturalist for the state of Alaska — offers a friendly and fascinating way to explore some surprising depths of the Alaska wilderness. Options include private tours ranging from 5 to 7 hours that explores the sights of British Columbia and the Yukon
Step aboard Anchorage’s first trolley. Relax and enjoy the ride while your guide shows you the sites and attractions of Anchorage. You’ll see the Alaska Railroad, Lake Hood (the world’s largest and busiest float-plane base), mysterious Earthquake Park, Cook Inlet, Anchorage Museum, shopping areas, and restaurants. Your ride is fully narrated, and the trolley is heated and enclosed.
This experienced, locally run company offers a superb guide-to-visitor ratio, creating a real feeling of intimacy, while their expert guides will help deepen your understanding of the area. From city overviews to forays just outside town, Salmon Berry Tours offers experiences from 2.5 hours up to a full 8‑hour tour.
Join Alaska Wildlife Guide in experiencing one of Alaska’s most desired attractions, Chena Hot Springs Resort. From visiting the most northern Ice Museum, soaking in the all-natural hot springs to learning more about geothermal energy and visiting reindeers, this tour will be a highlight of your Alaska experience.
The Coastal Classic train runs between Anchorage and the town of Seward — a four-hour trip that’s the most beautiful along the entire Alaska Railroad. You’ll see Turnagain Arm as the train departs Anchorage, then a panorama of mountains, glaciers, lakes, and streams. You may even see wildlife like Dall sheep, Beluga whales, moose, bear, and more! Day Trip from Anchorage: Seward, Girdwood Multi-Day Trip from Anchorage: Overnight Seward, or ...more
The train can be used as a mode of transportation, however it can also be a round-trip sightseeing excursion. This primary destination is the town of Whittier, a major cruise ship and afternoon day cruise hub. Day Trips from Anchorage: Whittier, Girdwood, Spencer Glacier, Grandview
This train travels through the forested areas north of Anchorage into the boreal forest, and eventually into the tundra regions further north. On a clear day the train will slow down to allow you to see beautiful vistas of Denali. You may also spot wildlife along the way. Day Trip from Anchorage: Talkeetna Day Trip from Fairbanks: Denali Multi-Day Trip from Anchorage: Talkeetna, Denali National Park, and / or Fairbanks Multi-Day Trip ...more
The Hurricane Turn Train operates on Thursday through Sunday between Talkeetna and Hurricane Gulch from mid May to mid September. You can either take a scenic journey round trip, or you can ask to be let off at whichever mile marker you choose. This train is how many people who live in the backcountry gain access to their homes or cabins. It is also popular for fishermen who gain access to some great fishing spots by train. Get back on the ...more
Ride the rails on a real gold-rush era, narrow-gauge railroad from Skagway into the heart of the Yukon. On the White Pass & Yukon Route Railroad, you’ll have several trip options, taking you past glacial rivers, waterfalls, and gorges for a real taste of wild Alaska. You’ll feel like you’ve gone back in time on this authentic train, as you climb 3,000 feet to scenic vistas and past aptly-named spots named Inspiration Point and Dead Horse ...more